The summer sun beats on your skin as you splash around in your pool with your kids. The beach balls are flying around, the laughter is piercing the air, and the memories are ones you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
Then the storm clouds come out, and the beautiful day in the sun is forced to become a day indoors with kids who would rather be in the pool. Even the thought seems cringe-worthy as what was a wonderful summer day is now a time of disappointment brought on by upcoming thunder and lightning.
But, wait! Your summer day doesn’t have to be ruined because a storm is approaching! The party might need to be brought indoors where a pool isn’t available, but there are plenty of options for fun things to do with your kids once you’re sitting in the living room or at your kitchen table. Crafts, for instance, can provide wonderful family experiences that build memories as real as the beach balls in the pool, but with a much more creative twist to them. So if you feel frustrated that your outdoor summer day was ruined, break out the art supplies to try your hand at some of these projects!
Homemade fish tanks. Are you wanting to keep the water vibe you had at the pool? Then this craft idea might be what you’re looking for! You can create a tiny water home for your fake fish by using a handful of supplies: blue paper or plastic plates, glue, fish stickers, and cellophane. Just take one paper or plastic plate and cut a whole it in that’s almost the entire bottom of the plate. From there, cut some of the cellophane out (clear works best, or with small dots that look like air bubbles), and glue it over the hole you’ve made. Trim away any excess cellophane that will be visible once you put another plate on its other side, then focus on that other plate! All you need to do there is use the fish stickers to decorate the bottom part of the plate that would be visible if you were actually eating off of it. Use your imagination to make a wonderful ocean-esque display, and once you’re finished, glue the plate with cellophane on top so that there’s an inch or so of space between the fish and the cellophane. That technique gives the craft depth, like you might expect from a tank!
Tambourines. This is another plate craft, but these tambourines can bring some music into your home! First, you’ll need plastic plates—any color or shape you want, so long as two plates can be glued together with that inch-or-so of depth that was used for the fish tanks. Beyond the plates, small pebbles, jingle bells, yarn, and glitter glue are other supplies you might find useful for building these tambourines. Sprinkle the pebbles and some of the jingle bells into one of the plates, and then glue the second plate with the depth technique in mind over top of the one with the pebbles and jingle bells. Once the glue dries, you can punch small holes around the glued-together plates (make sure the holes aren’t large enough to rip through all of the glued portion!), then thread your yarn through the punctured holes. Add more jingle bells to the yarn, tie each of them off, and use the glitter glue to decorate the tambourine! If you’d like, you can also use stickers, markers… Use your imagination!
Shaving cream art (Van’t Hul, 2014) . Never heard of this? Well, here’s your introduction! You can use shaving cream to make painted works that have their own unique and beautiful looks to them! The supplies you’ll need are shaving cream (obviously!), watercolor paint, a container for the paint, droppers, watercolor paper, and a ruler (or something else that’s sturdy enough to push excess paint off of the work when you’re finished). When you have your supplies ready, start by adding the shaving cream into the container, and add drops of your watercolor paint once you’ve made sure the shaving cream is more or less even across the container. Move the paint around to mix the colors in no specific pattern, and then touch the top of your watercolor paper against your paint creation. After you pull it away, push away that excess shaving cream and paint, and let it dry!
Art sets from photo albums. This one truly has a number of possibilities, and the final product could be as unique as your imagination takes you! All you need for sure is a photo album! From there, try to come up with a specific theme for the art you want to make and showcase in the book. For instance, maybe you could go with leaf art! If you chose that option, you could use leaves for design (even artificial ones you might have in your home), then cut out pieces of construction paper that will fit in the photo slots. Decorate each one in its own way, like using your leaves as stencils to trace. Another option would be to put paint or glitter on the leaves and use them as stamps to create an imprint on the construction paper. And, as was already mentioned, these photo albums don’t have to end with leaves! Maybe find different textures around your house to trace onto the construction paper for a texture theme, or just use each photo slot as a place to display a portrait of a different family member for a unique take on a family photo album!
Make a board game (Chapman, 2015) . Yet another option that could be limited to where your imagination takes you, constructing a unique board game can be a group effort among your family that requires working together and brainstorming since there are so many steps involved. You have to pick a theme, a concept, a look, rules… Each of these details could be discussed and decided on as a family, teaching your kids the importance of working together and compromise! For supplies, your options can vary! Maybe you have a poster board or pieces of cardboard that would work as the surface for the board game, and you figure markers will work fine for decorating the board. If so, you have your basic needs within those supplies! Beyond that, construction paper can be used for making cards, designing money, or token pieces to use as players—or maybe break out some Play-Doh to fashion your own characters to use through the game! By the time the rain clears up, you might find that you have a fun and original game that your family can come back to again and again when the stormy weather drives you indoors!
Collage. Maybe, no matter how much you try to involve your kids in these indoor crafts, their minds won’t get away from the pool and the sunny weather. If that’s the case, there’s no need to panic! If you have magazines, catalogues, newspapers, etc., encourage your children to go through them to find things that remind them of what was so fun about being outside in the first place. They can think about the pool itself or other outdoor activities they want to do once the rain stops—like play basketball, play chase, or fly kites. As they browse through the sources of information, have them think about those activities and pick images that represent them. From there, grab a piece of poster board or paper along with some glue and scissors, and encourage them to cut out images they think fit with the theme to glue onto the paper or board so that they overlap. What you’ll end up with when it’s finished is a collage of outdoor activities that kept your children thinking about and potentially enjoying the outdoors even when the sun was hidden behind storm clouds!
These are just a handful of craft ideas to keep your children occupied during rainy days, but there are plenty more! With a little bit of thought and a handful of supplies, your indoor rainy day could turn into something beautiful, creative, and memorable!
References Chapman, D. (2015, March 20). 25 Kid (and Parent) Friendly Rainy Day Crafts. One Little Project at a Time . Retrieved from http://onelittleproject.com/rainy-day-crafts/ Van’t Hul, J. (2014, June 30). Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors. The Artful Parent . Retrieved from https://artfulparent.com/2014/06/shaving-cream-marbling-with-liquid-watercolors.html